„I am incredibly pleased that I received this year's MARUM research award for my doctoral thesis,” says Katharina Kitzinger. “I was only able to carry out my work in this form thanks to the many people in Bremen and Vienna who always supported me. First to name are my supervisors Marcel Kuypers and Hannah Marchant here in Bremen, and Michael Wagner at the University of Vienna. Due to their support, I was able to devote myself entirely to my favorite microorganisms – nitrifers who play an essential role in the global nitrogen cycle. Moreover, I got the opportunity to examine these organisms in a beautiful habitat – the ocean.”
The nitrogen cycle in the sea is one of the most important global element cycles, since the element nitrogen is a component of proteins and many other natural substances, and is therefore essential to live. Nitrogen cycling in shelf waters is crucial to reduce surplus nutrients, poured into the ocean by rivers. Yet many of its aspects are poorly understood. Katharina Kitzinger has now succeeded in finding answers to a longstanding mystery in a key process of the nitrogen cycle. Here you can find more information on her research: "Mystery of marine recycling squad solved"
The MARUM - Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences of the University of Bremen annually issues the MARUM Research Award for Marine Sciences. This prize is awarded to outstanding master's or doctoral theses that have been written over the past two years by young marine scientists at the University of Bremen. The prize money of up to € 3,000 is to be used as a scholarship and is intended to benefit the scientific objectives of the awardee. The MARUM Research Award for Marine Sciences is awarded in cooperation with the "Verein zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung in der Freien Hansestadt Bremen (VFwF e.V.)"
Information about Katharina Kitzinger:
Katharina Kitzinger (born in 1989) already examined questions about the physiology of nitrifers during her bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of Vienna (2009 – 2015). For her doctoral thesis, Kitzinger studied nitrification in the ocean and worked mainly in Bremen. She did her thesis at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Marine Microbiology (2015 – 2019), in cooperation with the faculty Geosciences at the University Bremen and the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, University of Vienna.
Title of her thesis: „In Situ Growth and Organic Nitrogen Utilization by the Main Nitrifiers in the Ocean“
Grade: 1 „summa cum laude“
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Marcel Kuypers (Director of the MPI for Marine Microbiology and Professor for Biochemistry at the University Bremen), Prof. Dr. Michael Wagner (Director of the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, University of Vienna)
Since September 2019, Katharina Kitzinger works as a Post-Doc in the Department of Biochemistry at the MPI Bremen.